Facebook has basically made remembering birthdays meaningless. With automatic reminders, it's just as easy to wish a happy birthday to your own mother as it is to wish one to that random girl you think you maybe lived down the hall from you in the freshman dorms. But it doesn't take much more effort to show that you're really thinking of the people you actually care about. Here's how:
- First, sync your Facebook contacts with your contacts on your smartphone. This is pretty much automatic in Android and Windows Phone. For iOS, go to the Facebook tab under Settings and select "Update All Contacts" to bring in your Facebook pals' info. That'll slap all the birthdays you could never remember on your own on Google Calendar or your iCal.
- Next, scan through all 12 months and select the birthdays of your close friends and family and set a reminder for two weeks before their days. Ignore the ones you don't care about. (Or better yet, defriend 'em.)
- When you actually get the alert, drop a card in the mail. This should be easy to do because since you've synced Facebook your contacts, so you're likely to have the address you need. If not, it never hurts to just ask. Point of order: I keep a stash of birthday cards in my desk so I'm always prepared.
- Then your card arrives in time and voilà! You just made the birthday of one of your nearest and dearest.
When it comes to birthdays and special occasions, it's the thought that counts. You don't have to go all-out, but a card shows that you're at least thinking. And that's worth quite a lot.
Image credit: Shutterstock/Tatiana Popova